The Aftermath
Rhidian Brook

by

Sharon Fleming

Chapter 15
Summary

Lubert feels relieved that he no longer had to stop at the “Have-You-Seen-Wall” anymore in search of his wife (Brook 297). On his way to check his clearance certificate of being declared a free German and unassociated with the Nazi regime, Lubert can still see women and men searching for their loved ones. Upon arriving at the clearance office, Lubert meets a man and a woman also waiting for their clearance certificate. Judging by the look of them, Lubert thinks to himself that the woman is likely to get her clearance because of her white skin complexion to the black man. To Lubert’s shock, the woman is denied the certificate while the black man gets his. This culminates in Lubert contemplating what he would do if he is denied his. Eventually, after Lubert is called and handed his certificate, the feeling of freedom overwhelms him. Finally, he can practice his architecture as well as help in reconstructing his city.

Analysis

The chapter discusses Lubert’s visit to the clearance office with the hope of being cleared. What he had hoped for has finally come to fruition making him feel not only a free man but also a new man with the focus of reconstructing his city. However, although Lubert’s clearance certificate brings new hopes for him, Rosa Turnweg’s denial for her certificate is a revelation that many Germans were damaged beyond repair after the war. It is apparent that Germans are considered as criminals and, their right of belonging taken away from them. The denial of a clearance certificate reveals that it would take a long time to reconstruct German and return its former glory. Brook seems to suggest that to be on the losing end, if a person survived, means being denied the very existence of one’s identity. Nonetheless, the story is complete, and this chapter closes with what the author considers a new hope of reconstructing the city.

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